Showing posts from December, 2006


My daughter has been spending several afternoons a week with my mother. What do I do with the free time? Listen to music at really high volumes. Not the Curious George soundtrack, which I actually adore. And not even Madonna's Immaculate Collection, which my daughter adores. I've been listening to Hole. To Pink Floyd's The Wall. I've been listening to REM. The music I listened to before I went deaf. I test myself to see how much of it I notice missing at a regular listening volume, and then I just blast it into my living room so I can see at what decibel level I can hear all those fabulous nuances I'd forgotten at some point were there. This is how the deaf girl entertains herself when she's all alone. The real truth of the matter is that other than what I've lost in music, I am really quite comfortable with the whole deafness thing now. I think the shift occured this summer when I stopped saying, "I'm going deaf." I just, instead, started say


LIPREADER Maybe he likes to be listened to by the deaf girl, the way she watches each word begin deep beneath his facial muscles before it even becomes a thought. He likes to see her turn her entire body toward him, square her shoulders as though she’s about to listen with her heart. When she’s ready, she lets him know he has her full attention. She’s focused. She takes a breath. She lets him know she’s ready to have this conversation, just as an astronaut is ready to step onto the moon or a cloud is ready to burst open with attentive rain and he’s forgotten what he wants to say but wants so badly to move his lips.

My Daughter, My Deafness

"You can't be deaf," my 3 year old daughter says into the rearview mirror at a stoplight. "You have to be my mama." The light turns green and I readjust the mirror so to see the traffic behind me. My daughter's face disappears, as does her voice. What I want to do is pull over, get out, crawl into the seat next to her carseat and insist that my deafness has nothing to do with whether or not I can "be" her "mama." I don't want the drama though. I don't want to frighten her. At the very least I don't want her to think she can drop bombs like that and get me to pull over every time. "I am your mama. Nothing changes that." The conversation began because I was practicing my signing at the stoplight. She asked, "Are you signing?" Then she started waving her arms in the air, "I'm signing, too." As we pull onto the Interstate I tell her that once we both can sign it won't matter if I can't he